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Can The Emotional Freedom Techniques Help My Anxiety?

emotional freedom technique

Emotional Freedom Techniques – A Closer Look

Are you looking for a natural way to cope with anxiety? Do you struggle with intrusive thoughts? Need something that has been clinically shown to work for some people?

If the answer is yes, you may want to consider the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). In simple speak, I’m talking about tapping.

Yes – tapping. Now stay with me because I can imagine you may be reading this and thinking, “What are you smoking?”

But here’s the thing – I’m being completely for real.

What Is EFT?

Gary Craig is considered the father of EFT. Borrowing from principles of ancient Eastern medicine such as acupuncture and acupressure, and combining them with modern approaches to cognitive healing, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) provides a unique therapeutic tool for individuals hoping to move through their emotional barriers.

At its core, EFT holds the belief that unresolved emotional challenges are the cause of presenting life barriers.

Furthermore, these unresolved challenges disrupt the body’s energy patterns and create symptoms of distress that can take many forms.

Examples include:

  • Anxiety
  • Physical pain
  • Workplace dissatisfaction
  • Excessive worry
  • Overeating
  • Fears
  • Post-Traumatic Stress

When you hear the term emotional freedom technique, think “energy psychology”. Visit this extensive page that explores the various forms of energy healing and potential benefits.

To show you how to do the Emotional Freedom Technique, I’m including a short video below.

To access and clear emotional disruptions, EFT focuses awareness to meridian points, a map of energy “circuits” found throughout the human body that the ancient Chinese identified as sources of healing and wellbeing.

While these meridians are the basis for the practice of acupuncture, there are no needles required for EFT! The map of tapping targets can be found on this page.

By repeatedly tapping near the endpoints of specific meridians, EFT users realign and optimize the energy flowing through the body and thus improve how the person feels.

Since according to EFT, all problems are associated with disruptions to the body’s energy circuits, any emotional or physical problem can be addressed and treated with EFT techniques.

Another important aspect of EFT is the cognitive targeting of specific aspects or emotional concepts. The goal of each tapping sequence is to reduce or lower the emotional disturbance (or anxiety) to zero and to replace it with a reaffirming phrase or thought.

The most commonly used phrase follows the script “Even though I feel this way, I fully and completely accept myself”.

Repeating this phrase through the tapping sequence not only helps enhance the release of negative energy but also replaces any negative thoughts with self-compassion and acceptance.

Using EFT is like peeling back layers of an emotional onion. After identifying a “block”, or energy issue that is occurring, EFT systematically strips away aspects of that situation until all potential disruptions have been reduced and replaced by the positive and reaffirming phrase.

This often takes multiple passes through the tapping sequence with new aspects of the disturbance being targeted.

emotional freedom technique
Tapping for calmness

EFT Example

Just for chips and giggles, let’s say that I lost a basketball game and am frustrated with my athletic performance. As a result, I keep downing myself by saying, “I’m a loser”.

To address these feelings, I may use EFT tapping to reduce my negative emotional reaction.

After clearing the sequence, “I’m a loser”, I may still feel uneasy, but now about a different part of the performance. I next complete a tapping sequence about my coach’s reaction, then for comments made by my parents.

Tapping through each aspect helps me go deeper and deeper towards the core issue. Progressive layers of EFT may reveal that the final aspect of my distress is that I’m scared of not being successful – like my older brother – thus limiting myself from performing at my best.

All aspects are essential, and all must be cleared. Once they are acknowledged and cleared, I am again free to perform to the best of my abilities.

EFT leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of the core unresolved emotional disturbance, and this contributes to its popularity and success working on a range of topics and issues.

A further benefit of EFT is that once taught, it can be utilized anywhere. After learning the tapping sequence and reaffirming statement, you can slip into your tapping sequence any time and any place.

This makes EFT a powerful tool for people seeking help beyond just talk therapy, and for those more inclined to a direct approach in eliminating emotional “blockers”.


If you struggle with anxiety, the Emotional Freedom Techniques discussed in this post might be worth checking out. Have you tried tapping therapy for anxiety? If so, do you experience any benefits?

Please share your comments below.

This post was created with the help of my associate, Dr. AJ Sturges. If you liked this post, please join me on my podcast – Guy Counseling Radio.

Can The Emotional Freedom Techniques Help My Anxiety?

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2019). Can The Emotional Freedom Techniques Help My Anxiety?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 2 Jun 2019
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